Spring is A-Coming

January 19, 2014

Tulips (bonanza)

“Tulips (Bonanza)” ©Jill Rosoff 1992  40″ x 60″

I love painting spring flowers.  I paint them in watercolor, I paint them on my silk scarves.  Is it the colors?  The shapes?  That they make me happy?  Yes, yes and yes.  I just can’t get enough.  I walked into my local Trader Joe’s the other day, and saw the first spring tulips in the flower bins.  So I bought a bunch.  No hesitation, just leaned down and picked the color that was hollering “pick me!” at me.  They were orange with dark orange infusing from the lower part of the petals to the tips.

Now, it’s been hot in Southern California the past few days, and those buds drank a lot of water.  So they were buds on day 1, fully developed flowers on day 2, and wild things on day 3.  They were starting to droop because of the heat.  I refilled the vase, and on day 4, they were upright again.  I know they only last a week, but oh how I enjoy them.

My watercolor workshops are starting up again in 2 weeks.  My Saturday morning workshops start on Feb. 1st.   I also have two 6-session workshops scheduled at Orange Coast College Community Education, “Flowers in Watercolors” starts February 5th, and “Watercolor Still Lifes” starts March 19th.  As much as we’ll concentrate on watercolor technique, we’ll also focus on how to analyze the subject to be able to build a composition using the watercolors to their best effect.

The painting above was painted in 1992.  It lived in a restaurant in St. Helena, CA for 8 years, and now hangs in my living room.  The size noted above is the paper size, it’s framed in a simple dark wood frame, and floats on a linen background, so it’s even larger.  A  wonderful large art presence in the room.


“Plumeria”, ©Jill Rosoff 2012, 6″ x 17 1/2″

“Hi, my name is Jill and I’m an art supplies-aholic.”  Someday, somewhere I’m going to be someplace where I’ll introduce myself like this.

Yes, I love art supply stores.  LOVE them.  Kid in a candy shop love them.  They are a world of possibilities, tools and supplies that look so fun, so interesting that usually my imagination goes on overload after awhile.  These days its a really like a treat to go to a good art supply store, there are good suppliers online and I usually know what I need to get.  It’s wonderfully easy to order and have the supplies arrive at my door, or get specialty items I need directly from companies that specialize in products, say, for painting silk scarves.  But a really good brick-and-mortar art supply store is hard to find anymore.  There used to be three great stores I would go to, and now there’s just one left.  >heavy sigh!<

So the other day  I went to the art supply store, and as I walked inside I was immediately sideswiped by the huge table-full of watercolor brushes on sale for ONE DOLLAR EACH.  I kid you not.  Right there, right as I walked in.  Now, I’ve spent my fair share on lovely sable brushes for watercolor painting.  But these were right there, tempting me.  And it was a one-day !Surprise! sale to boot.  What did I do?  I surrendered, just a little.  Actually I got them for students who needed to fill out their brush selection.  So I felt a certain sense of justification, even care-giving for them, so they could take advantage of a good deal even though they wouldn’t actually be there.

I went primarily to make a list of specific supplies for students signing up for a new watercolor workshop I’ll be giving at Orange Coast College in October in the community education division.  I spent almost 2 hours there, sorting through to recommend the supplies they’d need: watercolor papers, paint colors, brushes, palettes, so I could make  recommendations on the supplies list I made up for the workshop.  When I finished with those, I looked  for whatever new things I could use for painting and printing new designs on silk scarves  for the fall and the holidays.  Dangerously fun.  And coming soon.

About this painting:  I started this piece after returning from my vacation/music workshop in Maui in June.  I have always loved Hawaiian slack key guitar, its soul soothing, and found this workshop where some of my slack key favorites were going to be the teachers.  So off I went, lugging my guitar, my small traveling paint kit, and a camera just in case (!) something caught my eye.  The great little place we stayed had plumeria trees growing right outside the door of the rooms, so we would sit on our little patio in the mornings with our coffee, with the trees framing our view of the ocean.  A visually and aurally delightful few days.  It didn’t suck at all!  

Scarfing Up

March 7, 2012


Mostly Lavender Poppies, habotai silk scarf, 8″ x 56″.  ©Jill Rosoff 2012

Both last weekend and this coming weekend I’m showing at the Art in the Park portion of Dana Point’s annual Festival of the Whales.  This is another one of my new colorways in my new collection of scarves.  If you couldn’t make it last weekend, come on down this weekend.  The Art in the Park is at the corner of Dana Point Harbor Drive, and Island way.  I’m on the grass on the south side, look for my apple-green umbrellas!  I also have my original watercolors, notecard sets, and my new reproductions available.

Want to see more of the scarves?  You can find them (and buy them too!) in my Etsy store.  New ones are going up all the time!

Calla Lily

August 31, 2011

“Three Lavender Callas” © Jill Rosoff 2007

While reviewing the inventory chosen by curator Lynle Ellis for my upcoming show at her gallery Glimpse in San Diego, I found some pieces I’d not yet shown here, so they’ll be showing up here now and again.  

I try to paint flowers when they come in season, and sometimes the window of time is so short, I get maybe one done and poof!  they’re gone.  So it is with callas.  I found these lavender callas at Trader Joe’s one day.  I couldn’t believe the color.  As much as I love the creamy white ones my neighbor grows and I enjoy as I pass by them, these were pretty smashing, and I love lavender.  The issue became how best to articulate that gorgeous single spiral of the one glorious petal as it opens up and unveil the stamen inside.  When I finished this one I realized how much it felt like an ode to Georgia O’Keefe’s work, looking so monumental in this small format.  

Delicate Fuschias

August 16, 2011

“First Fuschias” ©Jill Rosoff 2011,  5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″,  $75.00

On a recent sojourn to San Diego I stopped at a couple of nurseries to take a look at what is being grown lately.  Northern San Diego County is large flower growing region, with nurseries that specialize in various flowers: hibiscus farms, begonia farms, orchid greenhouses and more.  Its all very tempting, and of course very inspiring for me.  Oh how I wish I had a larger garden!  On this trip I stopped in at a begonia nursery where I also found some amazing fuschia plants.  They always look like little ballerinas on pointe to me.  So I’ve been painting fuschias, again.  I haven’t painted them in years!  

This is the first painting of this series, a simple study of them without any specific environment. It was specifically a study to learn about them, how I want to paint them.  I am working on more now!

Paint, Counterpaint

June 29, 2011

Two Textured Tulips”,©Jill Rosoff 2011, 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″,  $95.00

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last blog posting.  The majority of the feedback to my question about the Poppy Pods was in favor of leaving the painting as is.  As you wish!  (to quote Wesley in The Princess Bride).  And thank you for all your great comments!  Read them by clicking on Comments under the posting.  

This week’s piece, it turns out, is the diametric opposite, it’s almost all about the patterning.  I’ve had this painting on my drawing board since about March, around the time I was doing the small postcard ‘portraits’ of tulips.  I had a couple of pieces of watercolor paper a little larger than the postcard-szed ones lying on the table, aching to be painted on.  So I did the coral tulips, and used the patterning to echo the delicate structure of the tulips petals.  And then it sat there while I paid attention to other paintings, and put on a show, and went on my oh-so-great trip to Europe last month.  And so I finished it this week, still using the line detail, but not quite the same way as on the tulip petals.  And here it is.

I’m starting some pieces from my trip, they’ll be arriving here soon.  Mostly in the architectural vein–I love the architecture of the Spanish, French and Italian Riviera.  Plus there’s a few that I started before the trip that are almost finished, that are quite fun.

Have a great Fourth of July!  And a safe one!

 “Flower Fields” design

For the first time anywhere, here is a sneak peak at my new hand-painted line of silk scarves.  This is a path I’ve envisioned for a long time, and I’m thrilled to at last bring my designs to life in wearable art.  

I have three designs I’m currently making.  Above is the Flower Fields design, the first design in the collection.  This one is on delicate Habotai silk, a floating, semi-transparent silk with a delicate lustre.  

“Flowers” design 

The Flowers scarf above is on charmeuse, so it’s more opaque yet still has a lovely high lustre.  I’ve done this one so far with these lovely watermelon-colored blossoms, and also in periwinkle.  Colors can be ordered to match!

“Circles and Dots” in blue, green and marigold

The “Circles and Dots” can come in a variety of colors, and can be ordered to match.  The blue, green and marigold scarf is on chiffon, the pink, orange and periwinkle below is on crepe de chine.

“Circles and Dots” in orange, magenta and periwinkle

The next scarf is a version of the “Flower Fields” scarf, featuring fun, whimsical flowers without the stems that are in the scarf at the top, so it’s called “Wild Flowers”.  This one has a more delicate feeling, again because of the Habotai silk’s shimmering, diaphanousness.  On crepe de chine the colors are a bit more vivid and cheerful where as this looks more subtly happy.

“Wild Flowers” in pinks, magentas, oranges and yellows

I hand-paint each scarf , so no two are alike.  The flowers and field scarf designs are all numbered, and all the scarves are signed.  And the edges are hand-rolled and finished.  And they are washable, so they are easy-peasy to take care of!  

These are some of the scarves I will have for sale this weekend at my show “Revel in Flowers” at Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Corona del Mar, CA. I’ll be at Peet’s on Saturday, June 18th from 2 to 7 pm, and on Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.  If you can’t make it and/or would like to order a scarf, contact me either by using the Contact link below, or via my website’s contact page at RosoffArtworks.com.  They’ll be up on the website soon!

Mexican Tulip Poppies

March 6, 2011

“Mexican Tulip Poppies on aqua wall”, ©Jill Rosoff 2011, 6″ x 11 3/4″, framed, $125.00

Another study in contrasting colors, the delicate yellow petals against the aqua wall and the green of the leaves.  The aquas and the greens of the background brought the yellow petals alive on the paper, which are punctated by the stamens, and then there are the stamens that have lost their petals, which shows those lovely pink tips.  A nice pairing with the painting of Mexican Tulip Poppies posted in September of 2010.  Thanks to Lea from my workshops who showed me these flowers in her garden and let me take some home to paint.

Paperwhite Narcissus

November 21, 2010

“Paperwhite Narcissus” ©Jill Rosoff 2010, 17 1/2″ x 6″, $145.00

Its that time of year.  These flowers, paperwhite narcissue, are from the same family as daffodils are.   They are just plain wonderful, white and lovely. Too bad you can’t add the scent to a blog.

This long, narrow piece of paper lends itself so nicely to their long, willowy stems crowned by the papery blooms.  I have painted narcissus before, I will paint them again.

Mexican tulip poppies

September 23, 2010

“Mexican tulip poppies” ©Jill Rosoff 2010, 6″ x 12″, $95.00

I was invited by one of my watercolor student’s over to her home to see these flowers growing in her garden, so of course I was intrigued.  I popped over the other day, since she lives just a few blocks from me.  These plants are definately in the poppy family, the petals are very similar to Icelands, but there are eight petals, instead of just four, and the blossoms are a little smaller.  The leaves and seed pods are like elongated versions of those on the California poppy.

I find yellow challenging to paint with, especially when its the first color element on the paper.   Yellow is a light, light color, it contrasts very little to the white of the paper.  It strains the old eyeballs.  So my challenge is twofold, to find enough contrasting elements in the subject to be able to show the texture of the blossoms petals, and to set it off with a background that activates the dominant yellow color.  I like the coral on this one.  I hope the seeds propagate!  Thanks, Lea!

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